Slime flux beetle Nosodendron unicolor, from here.

Belongs within: Coleoptera.
Contains: Buprestidae, Byrrhoidea, Elateroidea, Dascillidae.

The Elateriformia are a diverse group of beetles. Many elateriforms have a heterogeneous life cycle, with long-lived larvae ecologically disparate from the short-lived adults. Adults often have a streamlined body and complex pro-mesothoracic locking device. The antennae are rarely clubbed and often serrate, and the hind coxae are usually more or less excavate to receive the femora (Lawrence & Britton 1991).

Molecular phylogenetic analysis (McKenna et al. 2015) supports the inclusion in the Elateriformia of Nosodendron, a genus of ovoid, shining black beetles found as both larvae and adults feeding on slime fluxes in tree wounds. Nosodendron differs from other elateriforms in possessing a well-defined, three-segmented antennal club (Lawrence & Britton 1991). They have a prognathous head and are capable of protectively folding their legs into cavities on the underside of the body. The only species known from Europe is the tufted nosodendron N. fasciculare which is regarded as threatened in some parts of its range (Bouchard 2014).

Unusual antennae also characterise the Rhipiceridae which have pectinate antennae in the females but flabellate, many-segmented antennae in the males (Lawrence & Britton 1991). Larvae of Rhipiceridae are only definitely known for the North American species Sandalus niger, which develop as ectoparasitoids of cicada nymphs that are located by the active triungulin-like first instar. Otherwise, a close relationship between the Rhipiceridae and Dascillidae (together forming the Dascilloidea) is supported by features of the prothoracic interlocking device, wing venation and aedeagus (Lawrence & Britton 1991).

<==Elateriformia [Artematopoidea, Cebrionates, Dascilliformia, Rhipiceroidea, Serricornia, Sternoxi]
    |--Nosodendron [Nosodendridae] MW15
    |    |--N. asiaticum B14
    |    |--N. australicum LB91
    |    |--N. californicum B14
    |    |--N. coenosum B14
    |    |--N. fasciculare (Olivier 1790) [=Sphaeridium fasciculare] B14
    |    `--N. unicolor B14
    `--+--+--Buprestidae MW15
       |  `--+--Byrrhoidea MW15
       |     `--Elateroidea MW15
       `--Dascilloidea MW15
            |--Dascillidae B14
            `--Rhipiceridae [Sandalidae] B14
                 |--Rhipicera B14
                 |    |--R. femorata Kirby 1818 B14
                 |    `--R. mystacina [=Hispa mystacina, Polytomus mystacinus, Ptilinus mystacinus] B35
                 `--Sandalus B14
                      |--S. niger Knoch 1801 B14
                      |--S. petrophya B14
                      `--S. porosus B14

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B35] Boisduval, J. B. 1835. Voyage de Découvertes de l’Astrolabe. Exécuté par ordre du Roi, pendant les années 1826–1827–1828–1829, sous le commandement de M. J. Dumont d'Urville. Faune entomologique de l'océan Pacifique, avec l'illustration des insectes nouveaux recueillis pendant le voyage vol. 2. Coléoptères et autres ordres. J. Tastu: Paris.

[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature's gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[LB91] Lawrence, J. F., & E. B. Britton. 1991. Coleoptera (beetles). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 543–683. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[MW15] McKenna, D. D., A. L. Wild, K. Kanda, C. L. Bellamy, R. G. Beutel, M. S. Caterino, C. W. Farnum, D. C. Hawks, M. A. Ivie, M. L. Jameson, R. A. B. Leschen, A. E. Marvaldi, J. V. McHugh, A. F. Newton, J. A. Robertson, M. K. Thayer, M. F. Whiting, J. F. Lawrence, A. Ślipiński, D. R. Maddison & B. D. Farrell. 2015. The beetle tree of life reveals that Coleoptera survived end-Permian mass extinction to diversify during the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution. Systematic Entomology 40 (4): 835–880.

Last updated: 10 December 2020.

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